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The Essential Rumi

by Jalal al-Din Rumi

Other authors: A. J. Arberry (Translator), Coleman Barks (Translator), John Moyne (Translator), Reynold Nicholson (Translator)

Series: The Essential Religious Series

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3,842272,674 (4.32)35
This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems. Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever. The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.… (more)
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I have loved Rumi, and the Coleman Bark's translation, since I was a young girl and my father used to quote from it.

The poetic prose and lyrical flow of the passages compliment the deep wisdom of his words.

This is not a book to be speed read, rather, to be savoured, passage by passage. Each quatrain contains a depth of spiritually to be meditated upon.

Buy this book, incorporate it into your life, read it to your children and grandchildren. You will enrich their lives. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
Took a bit longer to read than usual and at times I wondered about Rumi's ramblings and their impetus. I felt I was reading his personal journal because, hey, that's what this is. I wonder what he would feel knowing his deepest thoughts are now widely read. Learned what most emotionally intelligent humans learn and strive for has not changed over time. Our souls have remained steadfastly the same despite the era in which we live. The human condition then = the human condition now. So what IS the meaning of life if we make no collective progress in growing our souls as humans? ( )
  swbesecker | Feb 28, 2022 |
I was introduced to the Sufi mystic Rumi in a college Religion course on mysticism, and fell in love with the depth found in the simplicity of his words. I now use this book as a "Magic 8-Ball" of sorts...if I have a problem, I flip through it and stop at random, and read through Rumi's answer for me. His poetry is beautiful and his wisdom leaps off the page into your heart: "you are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop," "maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots," are only a few of my favorites. Rumi is truly timeless. ( )
  rubberkeyhole | Jan 16, 2022 |
Interesting reading this sensuous, classic of Middle Eastern poetry. ( )
  brakketh | Sep 28, 2021 |
Personally, I found this to be lovely if not exciting and overly-spiritual for my tastes. Outside of my subjective tastes, there are legitimate concerns about this particular translation. Primarily, how does someone who doesn't read or speak the original language of poetry translate it? Apparently by paraphrasing other English translations. Paraphrasing isn't stealing per se, but taking a translator's credit when you didn't in fact translate anything seems icky if not outright unethical. Given the history of spiritual white Westerners watering down and sanitizing the culture, traditions, and religions of BIPOC peoples, my vote is unethical.

Ultimately, I feel dirty for having read this and wish I'd known about the controversial nature of Barks' "translation" beforehand. My advice to you is to pick another translator. At least I didn't pay for it. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Sep 27, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jalal al-Din Rumiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arberry, A. J.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barks, ColemanTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moyne, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nicholson, ReynoldTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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for compassionate heart within the mind, the light within the body,
for the sun, Shams of Tabriz, and Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
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In the tavern are many wines—the wine of delight in color and form and taste, the wine of the intellect's agility, the fine port of stories, and the cabernet of soul singing.
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This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems. Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever. The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.

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Coleman Barks translation of Rumi and his comments
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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